A report published by the Social Security Advisory Committee calls on the Government to undertake research on the cumulative impact of welfare reform. The report refutes Government claims that it is too difficult to measure the cumulative impact of reforms on particular groups or household types and makes a number of recommendations which include assessing the effect that the reforms have had on disabled people. While the Government claims that many of the reforms are designed to enact behavioural change and to get people into employment, it is too early to say whether this approach has been successful, however there is plenty of evidence of the negative impact the reforms have had on people living on low incomes. Research by the Centre for Economic and Social Inclusion cited in the report found that the average loss per claimant was between £1,500 and £1,650 per year.
The report stresses the importance of conducting research into the cumulative impact of the reforms on disabled people who are less able to enter work and often cannot enact the behavioural change the Government claims to seek and asks that the DWP consider whether there have been any cumulative impacts on vulnerable groups which need to be mitigated.
Source: Social Security Advisory Committee Report